Statistics released by the WHO have shown that in every country, including eSwatini, 50 per cent of antibiotics are used inappropriately, leading to the escalating cases of drug resistance, hence the launch of the Access; Watch and Reserve (AWaRe) campaign aimed at assisting countries curb resistance.
Director Pharmaceuticals Fortunate Bhembe confirmed that the country has adopted this tool, adding that even before it was launched in Geneva on June 19, 2019, the country had already set up its internal strategy to contain drug resistance.
“We are in consultation with the WHO country office regarding the new tool. It will indeed assist us a long way in the fight against this resistance, mainly cause by self-medication in the country.
Antimicrobial resistance has been described as one of the most urgent health risks of our time and threatens to undo a century of medical progress.
According to WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, “All countries must strike a balance between ensuring access to life-saving antibiotics and slowing drug resistance by reserving the use of some antibiotics for the hardest-to-treat infections. I urge countries to adopt AWaRe, which is a valuable and practical tool for doing just that.”
The new campaign is aimed at increasing the proportion of global consumption of antibiotics in the Access group to at least 60 percent, and to reduce use of the antibiotics most at risk of resistance from the Watch and Reserve groups.
Access indicates the antibiotic of choice for each of the 25 most common infections.
These antibiotics should be available at all times, affordable and quality-assured.
Watch - Which includes most of the “highest-priority critically important antimicrobials” for human medicine and veterinary use.
These antibiotics are recommended only for specific, limited indications
Reserve - Antibiotics that should only be used as a last resort when all other antibiotics have failed.